Ventana Research Releases Buyers Guide for Contact Centers
Independent analysis of software rates technology providers on products that address key elements of contact centers and platforms across seven product and customer experience evaluation categories.
Today Ventana Research released its 2023 Buyers Guide for Contact Centers, a quantified, research-based report evaluating technology providers and products. The Buyers Guide assesses 21 vendors’ products using our Ventana Research methodology, called the value index, evaluating software in seven key categories that are weighted to reflect buyers’ needs based on our expertise and research. The Buyers Guide evaluates vendors that offer products that address key elements of contact centers and platforms, focusing on the routing engine as the core component, and including a minimum viable set of agent-optimization features.
Contact center providers have adapted their product portfolios to support the new reality of cloud computing and operating in public or private cloud environments. After years of sometimes dramatic steps of prioritized development and acquisitions by technology vendors, the focus on cloud development is now well established. The industry has reached a point where contact center in the cloud, commonly referred to as contact center as a service (CCaaS), is the dominant mode of operations for new contact centers and for expansions of older ones. The market landscape of providers has changed significantly as technology vendors with on-premises offerings have developed, migrated, or acquired contact center offerings that are aimed at the entire marketplace.
Ventana Research’s assessment of the contact center market has found an expanding portfolio of methods to meet the broader need for customer engagement and experiences across channels and interactions and with applications and devices.
For contact center platforms directly, and separate from dedicated agent management solutions, we found that success often correlated with a vendor’s ability to quickly pivot and redirect development resources to new areas. New areas don’t necessarily mean cutting edge; rather, investing in best practices consulting and training is one area that can differentiate a vendor in an increasingly confusing and complex marketplace. Vendors that can articulate benefits and ROI, that can describe specific use cases that provide value, and that can help buyers with sensible, non-disruptive transitions to new tools are the ones that will prosper in the next several years.
This Buyers Guide for Contact Centers examines the broadest possible vendor set across several contact center technology landscape segments. In this research, we examined the offerings of 21 vendors: some cloud-only, some premise-based, and some hybrid; the common element being the centrality of the ACD or call routing engine. Buyers must go into the examination with the understanding that not all subsets of these vendors will be fit for purpose in every situation, and the variety of possible situations is enormous, varying by size, industry, geography, and the nature of the organization’s customers.
“Even as the industry is changing rapidly with AI and other technology innovations, the ability to route interactions from customers to contact centers remains the core requirement,” says Keith Dawson, VP and Research Director of Customer Experience at Ventana Research. “Buyers need help understanding the breadth of options available for deploying ACD on-premises, in the cloud, or whatever comes next.”
The Buyers Guide for Contact Centers evaluates the following vendors: 8x8, Alvaria, AWS, Avaya, Cisco, Content Guru, Dialpad, Emplifi, Enghouse Interactive, Five9, Genesys, LiveVox, Microsoft, Mitel, NICE, RingCentral, Salesforce, Talkdesk, Twilio, Vonage, and Zoom.
The research finds NICE first on the list with Genesys in second place and Content Guru in third. Companies that place in the top three of a category earn the designation of Leader. Genesys has done so in all seven categories; NICE in six, Talkdesk in three, Content Guru in two and Five9, LiveVox, and Emplifi in one category.
The research places vendors into one of four overall categories: Assurance, Exemplary, Merit, or Innovative. This representation classifies vendors’ weighted performance overall in Product Experience and Customer Experience. The vendors awarded Exemplary are Avaya, Content Guru, Emplifi, Genesys, LiveVox, NICE, Salesforce, and Talkdesk. The vendors awarded Innovative are The vendors awarded Assurance are Alvaria, Microsoft, and Mitel. The vendors awarded Merit are 8x8, AWS, Dialpad, Enghouse Interactive, Twilio, Vonage, and Zoom.
The Ventana Research Buyers Guide for Contact Centers is the distillation of over a year of market and product research efforts. It is an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings will address organizations' requirements for contact center and agent management software. The index is structured to support a request for information (RFI) that could be used in the RFP process by incorporating all criteria needed to evaluate, select, utilize, and maintain relationships with technology vendors. An effective product and customer experience with a technology vendor can ensure the best long-term relationship and value achieved from a resource and financial investment.
Ventana Research has designed the Buyers Guide for Contact Centers to provide a balanced perspective of vendors and products that are rooted in an understanding of how products should be assessed, evaluated, and selected, and how the products are utilized across roles and must be adapted and managed to meet the business requirements. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the organization. Using the Buyers Guide will enable your organization to achieve the levels of efficiency and effectiveness needed to support contact center suites.
“Contact Centers are the heart and soul of customer engagement for every organization and the need to manage those interactions in the most efficient manner is critical for improvement,” says Mark Smith, CEO and Chief Research Officer at Ventana Research. “This Buyers Guide on Contact Centers evaluating 21 technology vendors sets the bar for the most comprehensive market research to help organizations assess existing and evaluate new ones that can best meet their needs and goes well beyond just looking at a vendor's vision or execution.”
The Buyers Guide for Contact Centers is neither sponsored nor influenced by technology vendors and is conducted solely in pursuit of Ventana Research's mission to provide value to business and IT (Information Technology) through the Consulting, Advisory, Research, and Education (CARE) portfolio of services. Ventana Research's goal is to help guide organizations to optimal efficiency in their use of technology investments for business and IT. Click here to learn more and to read the Buyers Guide for Contact Centers.
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